If you or a loved one are suffering injuries after a car accident in Clearwater or anywhere in Pinellas County, an accident attorney from our firm can help you seek financial recovery from the party who caused your accident and injuries.
Like many car accident victims, you may have neck pain, back pain, or an injury to another part of your body. You may also have life-altering injuries, such as traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) or spinal cord injuries that can mean a lifetime of care costs and medical expenses. It can also mean a drastic change in lifestyle and an inability to work.
The dedicated personal injury attorneys at Distasio Law Firm help people who want to seek legal recovery after being in an auto collision. Getting compensation and holding the at-fault driver legally responsible may help to restore their lives and health after a traumatic experience. We have been helping clients in Clearwater, and Pinellas County Florida, since 2008. We invite you to learn more about us and how we can during a free consultation with a Clearwater car accident lawyer from our team.
What Damages You Could Recover from Your Car Accident?
If your automobile accident caused you injury, you could seek to recover economic damages, such as your medical costs, pain and suffering, and mental anguish. The types of damages you can recover—as well as the value of the case—will depend on what happened to you and what losses and costs you endured.
However, we do see many of the same types of damages in most car accident cases. These recovered damages include:
- Emergency care and treatment from the accident scene to the hospital
- Your hospital or rehabilitation center stay
- Various tests and procedures you undergo
- Surgery required to treat your injuries
- Physical and occupational therapy for your injuries
- Missed income, such as lost wages, while you were out of work
- Reduced earning capacity if you cannot return to your previous hours or career
- Repair to your property damaged in the crash or replacement of your totaled vehicle
- Other related expenses or losses
You also may be able to recover non-economic damages, which have no dollar amount on their own. “Pain and suffering” is the most widely known of these kinds of damages. Others include:
- Mental anguish
- Emotional distress
- Physical disfigurement or scarring
- Permanent disability
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of life enjoyment
Wrongful Death Damages for a Fatal Car Wreck in Pinellas County
If a loved one died from injuries suffered in a car accident, we can help you file a wrongful death lawsuit. If you win, you could recover compensation for:
- The cost of the medical care your loved one received
- Funeral and burial costs
- Loss of financial protection for the spouse and children of the deceased
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of parental guidance and instruction
We often help our clients identify their damages and put a fair value on them. This task is a key step in getting the compensation you need and deserve after a crash. You cannot know when an insurer is offering a fair settlement and when you need to push for more unless you have a good idea of your expenses, losses, and other damages.
We will gather documentation, analyze bills, and even work with experts as necessary to understand your current financial losses, your prognosis and future care needs, and the value we can recover for your intangible damages, such as pain and suffering.
What Are the Statutes of Limitations for a Florida Car Accident Case?
If you want to seek compensation after your car accident in Clearwater, you must file your lawsuit by the deadline outlined in Florida’s statute of limitations. Per Florida Statutes § 95.11(3)(a), you have four years to file an injury lawsuit. If you are filing a wrongful death lawsuit, you have two years to do so (Florida Statutes § 95.11(4)(d)).
These deadlines only apply to civil suits in these cases, but they do affect your insurance claim, as well. The leverage necessary to demand a higher payout and negotiate an agreement with an insurer lies in the fact that they want to avoid going to court. If they know you cannot take them to court because you missed a deadline, it will be difficult to negotiate a fair settlement.
How Our Clearwater Car Accident Lawyers Can Help You Negotiate a Fair Settlement
Our skilled Clearwater car accident attorneys can help you:
- Take legal action to recover compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and property damage
- Negotiate a fair settlement from an insurance company or liable party
- Prepare and file a lawsuit on your behalf if we are unable to settle your claim with the insurance company
- Represent you in all legal proceedings
- Handle all communications on your behalf with all parties involved in your case
A proactive lawyer in Clearwater from our firm can also help you seek to recover lost wages and put money back into your pocket to compensate you for your losses following a car crash. We ensure our clients’ rights are respected and protected from day one, and we fight to help them recover the compensation they need and deserve based on the facts of their case. We promise to provide personalized services and attention as we manage the claims process for them.
Dealing with the Insurance Company
To seek compensation after a car accident in the Clearwater area, you will need to start a claim with the at-fault party’s insurance company. If the liable party does not have enough coverage and you purchased an uninsured motorist policy, you may also be able to file with your own insurance company.
This can be a daunting process for most people because insurance companies may take advantage of claimants’ inexperience with this type of claim. As a result, going through the process without a lawyer can lead to lower compensation.
A seasoned Clearwater car accident injury attorney from Distasio Law Firm can help protect your rights and represent you when negotiating with your and the other driver’s insurance company. If the insurance companies fail to do the right thing, our team can file a lawsuit and hold the wrongdoer accountable for causing your injuries.
As such, a legal claim or lawsuit will follow several stages, which we will guide you through. First, our team will gather evidence.
Gathering Evidence to Strengthen Your Case
During the discovery phase of your case, a committed auto wreck lawyer serving Clearwater from our firm will:
- Investigate the circumstances of the accident
- Review documents about the accident, including the official police report
- Gather facts of what happened
- Take photographs, video footage, and any other visual evidence
- Interview witnesses and compile their statements
- Collect any evidence you have of financial costs (medical and rehabilitation bills, damages to your car, etc.)
- Request your medical records
- Seek an expert’s professional opinion
We will analyze the evidence we gather and begin to build a cohesive case that supports you recovering compensation based on the damages you suffered in the crash. This task may be possible by holding the at-fault driver legally responsible. The evidence will support our claim against them or be used to prove their negligence and liability in court.
How Much Does a Car Accident Injury Lawyer in Clearwater Charge?
At Distasio Law Firm, we understand that you and your family may be under a lot of financial pressure between the medical bills, taking time off work, and rental car payments. We help alleviate this burden by offering our services on a contingency-fee basis.
We don’t charge you retainers or upfront costs to work on your case. Instead, we take our payment if and when we resolve your case.
Establishing Fault Is Critical to Your Car Accident Case in Pinellas County
Before you can hold a car accident’s responsible party accountable for your injuries, you must prove they are responsible for causing them. We can manage your case entirely and help you prove fault in your case. Having evidence can back up your claims and allow us to build a strong case for your compensation.
We will review your evidence and collect additional evidence on your behalf. Forms of evidence we could use to prove your case include:
- Surveillance footage from a nearby security camera that recorded your Clearwater car accident
- The report filed by police at the crash scene
- Witness statements
- Expert testimony, such as an accident reconstructionist
- Mechanic repair invoices and receipts
The goal is to bring forth proof that the opposed party caused your accident. If your case meets the four elements of negligence, you will have grounds to pursue your damages.
Elements of Negligence in a Car Accident Case
Negligence means the opposed party acted with a lack of care or reckless disregard that caused your accident. The elements that point to negligence include:
- Duty of care. We will have to prove that the other party owed you a duty of care while on the road. Often, this duty is as simple as following all applicable traffic laws.
- Breach of duty of care. The next element involves proving that the person breached their duty of care when they failed to keep you, such as violating a traffic law.
- Causation. This element of negligence shows how the liable party’s breach caused your accident.
- Damages. As a result of the accident, you suffered injuries and losses that can be remedied by monetary compensation.
If we can help you prove all four of these elements, you likely have a case. Once the discovery phase is complete, a lawyer from our team will organize your case and present it to the insurance company for settlement. This period between making a claim and settling your case can be stressful.
During this time, you will likely have questions. If so, we are here for you. A Clearwater motor vehicle collision lawyer will always be available to address your concerns.
Will You Have to Go to Trial for Your Car Accident in Pinellas County?
Most cases settle without having to file a lawsuit or going to trial. Yet, sometimes, the only way to hold the wrongdoer accountable is to sue the liable party. At Distasio Law Firm, we have the willingness, ability, and financial resources to go all the way to trial on behalf of our clients. Scott Distasio is a Board Certified Civil Trial Lawyer, a certification achieved by less than 1% of lawyers.
If you have any questions regarding the trial process, an auto accident injury lawyer for Clearwater and Pinellas County from our firm can take you through the finer points of your case and explain any Florida laws that apply. We recommend that you reach out to us about your car accident as soon as you can. Legal representation can make life after a car accident easier to manage.
You can speak with a Distasio Law Firm team member for more information.
Call a Clearwater Car Accident Attorney at Distasio Law Firm for Help Today
At Distasio Law Firm, we take the time to understand your case so that we can personalize your experience, look out for your interests, and protect your rights at all times. We dedicate our time and resources toward getting justice for your or your loved one’s injuries. A Clearwater car accident lawyer will be with you throughout the process.
To learn more about your legal options during a free case review, give our legal team a call today.